Raging against the machine is one way to take a stand, but we mustn't do it at the cost of our children's education. Personally, I don't want my children to be taught to a test, but I don't want my children to have teachers who choose to ignore the test either. I want my children to be prepared for college because education has epic impact on the quality of their future. I want my child to be taught above the test. For today, the test is a necessity for them to get to college. It is their proverbial rite of passage.
Let's Take a Test
Here's a multiple choice test question for you. I want to know what is the best pathway to solve an educational quandary that has be plaguing our nation for quite a while.
Which method would be the best way to prepare kids for the real world while making a significant change to our current system of standardized testing?
A. You can advocate against testing by keeping your children home on testing days.
B. You can say "There's nothing we can do", and continue to live with the machine and prepare kids for the test.
C. You can prepare kids of today to be successful in today's system while also actively promoting and advocating for a new and more meaningful method to gauge each student's college or career readiness.
D. Make a suggestion in the comments below.
Now let's break down those answers.
A. Wrong. (Win-Lose). While I don't disagree with taking a stand, this decision negatively impacts kids in the process. It tells kids that they don't have to take or pass a test that is a requirement to earn a diploma.
B. Wrong (Win-Lose). Sure kids will be prepared to pass the test, but the machine will also be reinforced as a best practice to assess kids' preparation for the real world. Nothing changes.
C. Correct. (Win-win). This answer is the right kind of thinking. Educators with this mindset are preparing kids for life under the current system while proposing progressive changes that will be more beneficial to gauge academic readiness for future generations.
Raging with the Machine is the Democratic Process in Action.
Having a win-win mindset as opposed to an "either-or" philosophy is exactly what our country was founded upon. If you want to change education, you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. We must remember all kids still have to meet today's standards. These governmental requirements are what our kids need for life. Whether you like it or not, this is their reality, and you must make sure it is a positive one for them. Conversely, you should work feverishly to think about future generations, the skills they will need, and the assessments that will best determine mastery of those skills. Standardized testing has been here for a long time, and there are many people who want to see it continue. Fighting against it will do no good. Fighting with it and offering plausible solutions is what will ultimately make a lasting and productive impact on all kids and the future of education. .